Matt Forte struggles against Tulsa linebacker Nelson Coleman, behind, and defensive back Bobby Klinck (26). (AP Photo/The News-Star, Michael Dunlap)
Nov. 19, 2005
MONROE, La. (AP) - The University of Tulsa used 28 first-half points to jump ahead of Tulane University on route to a 38-14 victory on Saturday afternoon at Malone Stadium.
The loss spoiled Tulane's Senior Day, which was being held in at UL-Monroe, 300 miles from New Orleans. The Green Wave was playing its 10th game in its 10th different stadium as it has been displaced due to Hurricane Katrina.
Tulsa (7-4, 6-2 Conference USA) scored on its first play of the game - a 48-yard connection between Paul Smith and Ashlan Davis with 14:52 to go. Tulane answered with a seven-yard rushing touchdown by Matt Forté, but the Golden Hurricane quickly added another score as Smith and Davis hooked up from three yards out with 7:19 to go in the opening quarter.
"Tulsa jumped on us early and we were never able to recover," Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo said. "I thought we were very inept and our and our defense appeared rattled in the first half. I think we settled down in the second half and played a lot better."
Tulsa put the game away with a pair of running scores in the second quarter as it led 28-7 at halftime.
"We wanted to set the tempo of the game and be aggressive," Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "Tulane is a very explosive team and we knew we would have to score points to win. If we could force them to come from behind we could make then a little more one-dimensional."
Smith completed 13-of-21 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns, the third coming in the third quarter - a 36-yard strike to Tarrion Adams to make it
35-7 with 6:08 remaining. Tight end and All-America candidate Garrett Mills finished with four catches for
After a Golden Hurricane field goal made it 38-7 in the fourth quarter, Tulane closed out the scoring with a 35-yard scoring pass from Lester Ricard to freshman Cary Koch. Koch finished with six catches for 102 yards, the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. Freshman Brian King added a pair of catches for 25 yards.
"I really think these guys [the freshman receivers] have stepped up for us and have a sense of urgency about them," Scelfo said. "These young kids have really matured this year and that is a big tribute to them."
Ricard, who came on in relief of starter Scott Elliott, completed 10-of-17 passes for 130 yards and one TD. Elliott was 8-of-18 for 82 yards with a pair of interceptions.
Tulane closes the season next Saturday, playing at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss. It will be the 11th stadium in 11 weeks for the road-weary Green Wave.